Editorial Board   Guest Author

Ms. Christa-Cathey

Judy Christa-Cathey

VP Global Brand Marketing Hampton Hotels & Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Worldwide

Judy Christa-Cathey is the Vice President, Global Brand Marketing, Hampton Hotels and Hilton Garden Inn, Hilton Worldwide. She is responsible for the development and execution of the Hampton hotels and Hilton Garden Inn global branding strategies including brand positioning, advertising, interactive relationship strategies, promotions and public relations. Ms. Christa-Cathey also co-created the Hampton Save-A-Landmark community program which was awarded a US Presidential Award for Preservation- the first time a hotel was ever given this recognition and an award from the Smithsonian museum for the program. Her prior travel industry experience includes market planning, direct marketing, promotions and public relations with Southwest Airlines. She was Vice President of Marketing for Adventure Tours USA (an international charter and tour operator), and Vice President/Account Executive for Roth Graham, a leading travel industry and targeted marketing agency. Ms. Christa-Cathey was recently named one of HSMAI's top 25 extraordinary minds in marketing in 2011. This honor is awarded to the best sales and marketing professionals in the hospitality, travel and tourism industries and recipients are judged on creativity and innovation; cutting edge sales or marketing campaigns; triumph in challenging situations; and sales efforts that resulted in dramatic gains. Under her leadership, both Hilton Garden Inn and Hampton Hotels have grown exponentially, both domestically and internationally, throughout her tenure. Ms. Christa-Cathey received her MBA from the University of Dallas and BA in communications from Western Illinois University. She is also on the board of directors for The Women's Foundation for a Greater Memphis (WFGM) and was Co-Chair for the 2008 National Civil Rights Museum Freedom Awards, honoring Al Gore and Diane Nash.

Ms. Christa-Cathey can be contacted at 901-374-5954 or judy.christa-cathey@hilton.com

Coming up in September 2019...

Hotel Group Meetings: Uncommon Destinations

The last few years have been good to the Hotel Group Meetings industry and that trend is expected to continue into 2019. Planners are brimming with confidence due to an expanding economy and increased job creation, which typically results in a boost in corporate meetings. Given this promising outlook, planners are trying to outdo themselves to satisfy the high expectations of their clients. One notable trend is to integrate unusual settings into the meeting experience, hosting groups at local zoos, aquariums, museums, event centers, or other outdoor facilities. The goal is to embrace uncommon destinations, rather than a typical hotel conference room, so that meetings can be memorable, unique and stimulating. This is also part of another trend which is to support all things local - from hosting events at landmark city venues; to catering through local restaurants, food trucks and microbreweries; to hosting off-site excursions like agri-tours, athletic events or scenic 5k routes. However, though the setting might be spectacular, there are still some bedrock components that must be provided to ensure a successful meeting. Free, high-speed Wi-Fi is still one of the most requested services. Planners have to make sure that a comprehensive communication infrastructure is in place so clients can easily connect - and stay connected - to the network throughout the entire meeting experience. Also, technology tools can be used to streamline the booking, registration, and check-in process, and Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) materials can be utilized to ensure seamless access to conference events. There are also numerous software tools that encourage audience participation, as well as integrating polls, Q&A, surveys and games into speakers' presentations. The September Hotel Business Review will examine issues relevant to group meetings and will report on what some hotels are doing to promote this sector of their operations.